Aaron Vick on Legal Tech Innovation and Leading During the Pandemic
At Cicayda, people, technology and innovation make up the tailored solutions and support the software provides in the realm of large scale litigation eDiscovery. “We established the iDiscovery trademark to represent the cohesive and integral collective of people, technology and innovation,” states Aaron Vick, CEO at Cicayda iDiscovery.
Vick initially got started in legal tech as part of the original design and ownership team of CaseLogistix™, the eDiscover/eDisclosure management and research application. Eventually, he was actively going out into the field and installing and implementing the platform. This resulted in Vick becoming very hands-on with complex litigation. Now, 22 years later, Vick continues to look for ways he can enhance processes within the legal tech space.
Cicayda’s iDiscovery software has been critical in assisting litigators in a wide array of industries, ranging from government to business and environmental. Cicayda’s software has aided research and discovery for large corporations’ government investigations, multidistrict litigations, class action lawsuits, construction liabilities, complex business arbitrations, contract breaches, IP litigations, securities fraud, environmental actions and more.
Through speaking with industry partners and competitors about the impact of COVID-19, Vick noted a stroke dip in industry new matter activity during Q2-Q3 2020. “However, our professional services team was busier than ever with existing matters,” claims Vick. “We are starting to see increases in new pipeline deals and are hopeful that we end 2020 with more of a standard sales cycle projection versus the COVID-19 outlook.”
While the pandemic has been challenging for most, the Cicayda team has managed to maintain their stride while overcoming some of the common work-from-home problems. “As with most, COVID-19 disrupted our staff; especially those with young children. Additionally, COVID halted our traditions of getting departments together in a physical space for things like team building and future planning,” states Vick.
The Cicayda team was already traditionally 80% work-from-home, and a just a month prior to the widespread closures, due to COVID-19, they had gone 100% virtual.
Vick claims that the lack of human connection is the most difficult part, as it challenges company morale. “The success of working from home is to ensure the team feels like a team, which is best represented by meet ups. However, we have been trying to implement social hours and more company wide transparency via video conferencing, even though it still lacks that real person-to-person interaction.”
Vick is consistently working to boost team morale by encouraging virtual events. The Cicayda team holds bi-weekly Zoom meetings where employees are able to enjoy a social hour with minimal corporate speak. With the launch of a new product, Vick worked to keep the team morale by sending everyone a party kit and then holding a Zoom conference to celebrate the launch.
The hopeful CEO believes that there is always something new to learn and ways to optimize existing ideas, as he has demonstrated while continuing to advance legal tech space processes. For other entrepreneurs entering the legal tech field he has some advice: “Find a niche and be sure to not forget about marketing.” Vick also offers an advisory or mentorship role for anyone looking to reach out for advice.
Vick’s recently published book, Leaderpreneur, also discusses early foundational considerations for startups, as well as blending in leadership for early founders.
Within the next five years, Vick is hopeful Cicayda will reach an exit where the company’s exceptional staff is able to grow and the innovation is appreciated and marketed.